Sometimes, even in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country, we get bored and look to the television for entertainment. A little while back I was flipping through the channels when I came across the movie “The Big Year.” I had heard about this flick when it was first in the theaters, but I never got around to seeing until it was on the small screen.
I am so glad I stopped to watch it. Yes, there was some spectacular scenery and with Steve Martin, Owen Wilson and Jack Black in it, plenty of humor. What I truly enjoyed though, was the way the birding affected the characters’ lives. In one case, the competition to see as many species as possible in one calendar year – where the term “Big Year” came in – became an obsession. Another character became closer to his father in the process, and the third learned to balance business with pleasure.
I’m curious to see how our own first birding festival will play out May 15-19 when we host “Spring into Yellowstone: Cody Birding and Wildlife Festival.” This event will feature special guided trips, interactive forums and speakers, a trade show and the opportunity to showcase the Cody area’s birds and wildlife. Being an outdoor gal, I know first-hand about our birds and wildlife!
Festivities begin Wednesday, May 15 at 7 p.m. with “Raptors of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem” presented by our own internationally renowned raptor biologist, ecologist and author Dr. Charles Preston. This is an illustrated introduction to the habitats of the Greater Yellowstone region and the eagles, hawks, falcons and owls that inhabit them. Dr. Preston will explain how various birds cope with the challenges of Greater Yellowstone’s varied seasons and environments. You can also learn how and where to find and identify many of these species in the Cody area.
Other programs will cover golden eagles, Northwest Wyoming’s important bird areas, birds of prey and sage grouse. There will also be programs devoted to grizzly bears, wild horses, geology and photography.
In the evenings we will sample local restaurant fare, check out a trade show and listen to lectures about the various bird species.
This new event is being supported by a group of regional partners including the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Draper Museum of Natural History – Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Park County Travel Council, Yellowstone National Park, Shoshone National Forest, Bureau of Land Management, Friends of a Legacy, Wyoming Game and Fish Department and US Fish and Wildlife as well as local lodging and tour providers.
Lodging options can be found on the Cody Chamber web site www.codychamber.org or by calling 1-800-393-2639.
For more information or to find out how to be involved, go to www.springintoyellowstone.org or contact the Cody Chamber.
Hope to see you there. Until next time, I’ll be looking for Owen Wilson in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country!
Corrie N. Cody